Three Five Seven # 199

Three, five, and seven
3 5 7
By Stan Shapiro MD, Grand Lodge Education Officer G.L. of MN

John Milton warned, “Hypocrisy is the only evil that walks invisible.”


We are obliged to respect our uniqueness and ourselves no more or less than our brothers. This means we may not withhold from him, or permit others to withhold from him any of the reverence, solicitude, or freedom we claim for ourselves. We may not exclude anyone from this deference because of race, creed, color, social position, economic class, or any other consideration. That is different than toleration which is merely permitting what is not approved. Our Masonic duty of tolerance involves being fair toward those whose opinions, actions, or cultures are different from ours. It does not mean simply putting up with them but involves a liberal spirit toward the different views and actions of others, which can lead to a genuine respect and love for these differences.

There are no limits to this obligation. We cannot respect our fellow brothers excessively.

We may not injure him in any fashion, humiliate him, oppress, exploit, or deprive him of anything to which he is entitled. We are not to deceive him or withhold the truth from him. Oppression may be through words or deeds. We are not to inhibit or restrain his self-fulfillment according to his inclinations, talents, and conscience.

We also have the right to expect our Brothers to behave toward us as we seek to behave toward them.

As Masons we also are taught to have respect for all individuals, have a noble sense of generosity, and zeal in the interest of mankind, and in the advancement and progress of humanity.

Words to Live By:  We are all traveling a long, long road from which there is no return. We know that we are accountable for all our actions. So while we’re on the way there why not share the load? Don’t let it weigh you down.

If you have an adversary – don’t make Him heavy, he’s your brother. – WB. Clive Herron Marine Lodge 627 IC, Durban, South Africa

These powerful words from South Pacific were first sung at a time when no one dared confront these societal norms:

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

The Education Videos by our education committee can be viewed at:

The latest Masonic Monday Question, and some of the past questions, can be viewed at  and at